Friday, May 22, 2015

April and May-ness

22 weeks!

Wow... April and May have gone by so quickly!  I can hardly believe it is nearly June.

These last two months have been pack-full of life and goings and doings.  And there is more to come!  I don't see things slowing down for quite a while.  There might be a lull in July, but somehow I doubt it.  :-)

Re-vamping our new desk was a recent project.  When we bought it the entire thing was dark wood with *very* dated goldi-ish legs and handles.  Nothing some paint and new hardware won't fix!  We are SO happy with the results.

23 weeks!

No one seems to be in any doubt that I am pregnant now.  Since finding out that I'm measuring two weeks ahead, my rapid size change makes a bit more sense!  It is quite interesting now though... ladies asking me when I'm due and I say "Early September" to which they reply "Oh".  Guess I'm big.   ;-)

Another recent project: made a number of these as Mother's Day presents for my mom, mom-in-love, myself *wink*, and the ladies at my church!  Such a fun pastime!

New workings for Rennie's room (which she won't really use at first, but it's still fun to put together!).  Two Disney-inspired paintings-turned-puzzles by Thomas Kinkaid.  Also painted the frames a soft peachy-pink instead of the ugly black they were before!

I've been enjoying dressing my bump.  I love flowy tops, so I haven't had much trouble using my pre-pregnancy clothes in that department.  Bottoms have been a little bit more challenging.  Skirts are my bestest friends right now!

As you saw in my last post, Andrew and I had maternity pictures taken almost two weeks ago.  After pictures and a wonderful time of laughter and fellowship over Mexican food with our photographer and her hubby, we said goodbye and began our trip home.  We stopped to do a little bit of late-night-and-tourist-free sight seeing.  I so love hanging out with this man!!!  He makes my life so loved-filled and just fun!!!

24 weeks!!!

In other news, I'm loving food so much right now!!!  :-P  I've been trying to be good and keep away from a lot of sugar and carbs (though I do *need* that ice cream every so often, of course).  Eating healthier hasn't really kept the pounds from piling on, but at least I know it isn't bad weight.  ;-)  I'm loving homemade egg salad right now (especially on Ezekiel Bread toast!) and apple slices dipped in sun butter (yummo!).  Frozen berries are also something I eat nearly every day now.  And dark chocolate... it. is. amazing!

25 weeks!

 This week I have tried to catch up on housework (which has made my neat-freak husband very happy).  I've been struggling with insomnia the last couple of weeks, so energy levels have been a bit low.  I finally caved last night and took a mild midwife-approved sleep aid.  And it seems like it helped.  I already feel better today and like I slept longer and deeper.  YAY!

Our weekend will be a busy one!  Friends from northern Utah are coming later today and staying through Monday.  So excited to have company in our little house!!!  And Sunday Andrew and I will be filling in to lead worship again (which is always so fun for us).

So what have April and May been for you?  What are you looking forward to in June?
I'm looking forward to 

~ Rennie Faye growing even bigger and stronger!
~ my third trimester!!
~ trying to finish reading a few books I started
~ going to see my family in Indiana *happy dance*
~ getting one month closer to meeting my daughter!  EEK!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

three years... the three of us!

It has been three years since a twenty-two-year-old, baby-faced man placed a ring on my finger with eyes so soft and glimmering with tears. Three years since we began this journey together as a Mr. and Mrs.

As we lay in bed last night, pregnancy-insomnia plaguing me... we held each other and whispered, "I love you so much more now.". This morning we smiled into each others' eyes as we kissed goodbye, just happy that we have each other.

Because through three years, five moves, two rough jobs, over two-and-a-half years of trying to start a family, one baby gone to heaven, many health issues for us both, and countless tears shed... we have only grown stronger. There have been so many breathless so-in-love moments, laughing till we couldn't breathe, and simply holding hands when there were no words. And that is only because God loves us and gave us to each other specifically for this journey. I am so thankful for Andrew. He has loved me so deeply, strongly, unconditionally... And to think we have barely begun!!!

Earlier this month Andrew and I were able to meet up with a dear friend of mine (and her hubby) who is also an amazingly gifted photographer.  She has been such a sweet encouragement to me for a while now and when she told me she would be in my area and wanted to do a maternity shoot with me, I was thrilled!
If you'd like, please go check out her website!  You won't be sorry!

So much happiness!!!

*happy sigh*

"For this child I have prayed
and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him."
1 Samuel 1:27

It is so beautiful for me to see our love and joy captured like this.  Andrew and I never thought it would be three years before we welcomed a child into our home.  But God has been so faithful.

I am astounded by the love God has grown between us through this journey.  It is only because of His grace that we have made it this far and that our deepest desires are being fulfilled.

This is our last anniversary without a child to hold in our arms... and, while we are treasuring the time remaining with just us two, we are so glad to be taking this next step.

It is crazy to think how far we have come since last year!  We now live in a different part of the country... new job, new house... We've been through a new set of struggles but everything is eclipsed by the joy of *finally* seeing our dream of parenthood come true.

It makes everything else worth it.

Hehe... Apparently Andrew wanted in on the "bump" action.  ;-)

Happy Anniversary, Andrew!!!  You are the love of my life and I look forward to loving you for many, many more years to come... I can't wait to see where God brings us next!!!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

so much more than "pretty"... maternity outfit and thoughts post


 Navy Blue Dress ~ Walmart
Lace Vest ~  gah!  I can't remember for certain!
Sandals ~ Walmart
Butterfly Earrings ~ zoo gift shop in Indiana

"This is about my own some-day daughter.  When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging "Mom, will I be pretty?" I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer, "No.  The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.
You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing.  But you will never be merely... pretty"."

~  Kate Makkai

I first began struggling with physical insecurity around the age of 13. 
Before that time I was just Rachel: the girl who loved horses, writing poetry, dressing like a fairy-princess, reading (a lot), and being with my family and friends. I never once wondered if I was pretty. I was simply me.

Then I joined a youth group in a new town and was bombarded with girls obsessed with their weight, their skin, their clothes... I came home each week, wondering more and more about the flaws I now saw in myself. I had always liked being tall, but now I was awkward and broad-shouldered. Suddenly instead of the girl with the blue eyes and smile I was the one with that new zit and un-plucked eyebrows. My clothes no longer made me happy, they only screamed my flaws.

And it has taken me years to recover.

Through everything I was blessed with parents who never saw me as anything but a wondrous beauty and a Heavenly Father who continued to show me His incredible love for every single part of me, simply because He created me. He is still showing me this.

I have a daughter inside of me now, kicking me and filling me with so much joy. I've seen little black-and-white ultrasound pictures of her and she is beautiful... but I knew that before seeing her. She is my child. She will never be anything to me but beautiful-beyond-measure.  And, more than any physical beauty the Lord could give her, I want her to be gracious, creative, loving, wise, and... beyond all else... a child of God.
And through all of her growing and failing and trying and learning, she will always be precious to me.

This crazy love I have for my little girl gives me just the smallest glimpse of how my Abba looks at me... His restored child, covered in His grace and growing in His love. Perfectly beautiful.

That is how He sees every single one of you.

I enjoy wearing makeup... but today I've wiped it off (all of it, I promise) and haven't retouched any of my pictures.  Because I don't need it to be everything God created me to be.

 "You have more to do than be weighed down by pretty or beautiful.  You are a fiery heart and a wicked brain.  Do not let your soul be defined by its shell."
~ Unknown

I want to be the mom who sees the joy from a moment captured by a picture instead of how the lighting isn't so flattering on my skin.  I want to be the mom who sees the stories that the flaws and stretch marks on my body tell and smile at their precious meaning instead of bemoaning the change.  I want to be the mom who enjoys an ice cream with my little girl without the "I'm getting so fat" comments.  I want to be the mom who commends my daughter on her growing mind and kind spirit, not just her pretty face.

This all starts with seeing myself as more than my body, my face, my shell.  I am not my 5'9'' frame, my stormy-blue eyes, my long fingers, or my ever-growing waist measurement.  

I am my Father's child.  
If I have His eyes of love, His hands of compassion, His heart of grace... what could be more truly beautiful than that?

"You don't have a soul.
You are a Soul.
You have a body."
~ C. S. Lewis